Cigar City Brew Bus Rollin Dirty

I absolutely hate getting sick. I’m a crappy patient and I refuse to call out of work for being sick. I also can’t review any beer. This really shouldn’t have any visible effect as I post in advance, but it just generally sucks. I’ve been battling this nasty cold/flu thing for 4 days now and I have a fever and congestion and I’ve been coughing like crazy. I can’t wait to feel better because this is just bad. I’ve been taking NyQuil at night and that stuff makes me have the weirdest, most vivid dreams and I wake up feeling hung over. Anyways, let’s talk about this beer.


ABV: 5%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: “According to the brewery website, “An Irish style red ale, deep amber in color with a forward caramel flavor and hints of chocolate. English hops lend an herbal bitterness for balance.”

Random: This won bronze two years in a row (2014 and 2015) in Best Florida Beer Competition.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, mahogany color with moderate carbonation. The nose had sweet, caramel malt with a touch of peat. Toffee was present as well. The taste had a lot of sweet malt, then herbal tea. It had caramel and toffee with brown sugar. The body was thick for the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with lots of sweetness, specifically toffee and caramel. This was $2.08 for the can, which came to $.17 per ounce. This was a drinkable beer, but nothing outstanding. I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a beer from Harpoon. Honestly, I’m just not drawn to them on the shelves. I don’t find many of their beers exciting and I only picked this one up because I needed to fill a mixed six-pack. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 4.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There are a lot things that we all have to do every day; Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA was brewed to celebrate the things we want to do. With a 4.3% ABV and 43 IBUs, this newest member of Harpoon’s year-round lineup is meant for those spontaneous moments, meeting up with friends and taking a break for fun. Harpoon Take 5 was first brewed on the Brewery’s 10-barrel system in early 2014. With each pilot batch the recipe was tweaked until the desired balance between hop aroma and malt character was achieved. This final version begins with a vibrant citrus and pine hop aroma from Simcoe and Amarillo hops and follows through with a sturdy malt profile from the combination of Pale, Vienna, Carapils, and English Amber malts. Hop forward but not too bitter, low ABV but with a significant malt body – a truly sessionable beer.”

Random: I wonder what session style will become the new popular beer.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy, straw yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose had huge amounts of pine, I assume from the Simcoe hops. I didn’t pick up the citrus because the pine was so prominent. The taste was slightly more mellow. It still had generous amounts of pine, but also had grapefruit rind. There was some slight sweetness at the end from the malt. The body was thicker than I expected with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with pine resin. A single of this was $1.50 ($.12 per ounce), which is pretty cheap for a craft beer. I enjoyed the fact that it drank as much bigger beer than it was and wouldn’t hesitate in having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Fire Island Lighthouse Ale

I’ve never been to Fire Island. I didn’t even know they had a brewery until I first saw one of their bottles on the shelf at Half Time in New York. I did some research on them and it was started by a few guys in 2009 who spent summers on the island and owned a restaurant as well. As seem to be one of the common threads in the stories of all brewers, they were avid homebrewers. He brought a Brit in to become their brewmaster, who they also made an owner. They also have more offerings than I knew about. I’d be quite interested to try their stout. Now that you have the history, let’s try their beer.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Soft carbonation, a light caramel finish and a toasty round body make Lighthouse Ale a beer that’s easygoing and flavorful: the kind of beer you want to have a beer with.”

Random: This beer is available year-round.

This beer poured with a one finger, off white head. It left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown on top of the mahogany colored body. It had high carbonation as well. There were also some floaties in the beer. The nose had some bready malt and then a lemony hop note. The taste was much more towards the malt side. It had toasted bread with light nuttiness. Then, the lemony hops came through. The body was almost watery with very high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the lemony hops. This beer set me back $2.29 ($.19 per ounce). I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer. The flavors had a very disjointed transition. One was definitely enough for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Widmer Hefe Shandy

Val picked out this beer awhile back. It is a summer seasonal from Widmer, which I don’t see around all that much. I know that it seems like I waited way too long to drink this, keep in mind that I schedule my posts awhile in advance, although I don’t think drinking this fresh would have helped it much.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Hefeweizen


Random: I really like the mug they have on their website. Generally speaking, their merchandise is attractive, although I’m not sure as to the validity of their claim as “Oregon’s favorite craft beer.”

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. The body was a cloudy, bright yellow with no visible carbonation but lots of visible floaties. The nose had an odd lemon note that was like artificial lemon syrup. There wasn’t much wheat. The taste was like lemons that had gone rancid. It reminded me of old lemonade and I couldn’t stomach more than one or two sips. The body was light with high carbonation. The finish was quick with the same awful lemon taste. A bottle of this was $1.49 at Half Time in New York, which came to $.12 per ounce. This is one of the worst beers that I’ve had in recent memory.

Untappd Rating: 0.5/5.0

Wild Onion Phat Chance

One of the kittens found a furniture pad, you know, the little felt pads that have a sticky side and a fuzzy side. I’m not quite sure what he thought it was, but he went nuts over it. Simcoe, unlike his brother, Citra, is going to be the hunter. His brother is much more into relaxing on soft, warm things. Now that you’ve heard about the feline dynamics of the kittens, let’s talk about beer.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A uniquely satisfying ale, brewed exclusively with Canadian 2-Row Pale Malt and Centennial hops. The use of only two ingredients highlights the fruity/citrus-like character of the Centennial hop, one of our favorite varieties from the Pacific Northwest.”

Random: One of the things that craft beer tends to point out about big beer is how they use women to sell beer. This can seems to embrace that as well…just saying.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange color with no visible carbonation because of how cloudy the beer was. The nose had grain, wheat and yeast. There was nothing else to the nose. The taste was not good. It had light, grassy hops and then transitioned into grain and this weird note of tin. It had bread at the end. The body was watery and thin with moderate carbonation. The finish was thankfully quick with bread and the same tin taste. A can of this will run you $1.49 ($.12 per ounce). Despite the affordability of the beer, I found it unpleasant and one that I would avoid having again. It’s almost a drain pour.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Greensport Otherside IPA

As you probably know by now, I’m a huge Eagles fan. This year has just been difficult to watch. With so much hype behind the hurry-up offense, it seems like every team has us figured out and this experiment just isn’t working. I wonder if they keep Chip Kelly next year. Anyways, let’s talk about this beer. It’s the first beer that I’ve had from the brewery and I know next to nothing about them. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of North American pale, light Munich, light crystal, and carapils malts provide a light malty backbone to balance healthy kettle and dry-hops additions of Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus. Hoppy yet balanced, our latest Project Hoppiness offering is our nod to the beers we love from the other coast. ‘Winner of the Brooklyn Mystery IPA Challenge’ (7.5% ABV) -available year round.”

Random: I also feel like we are getting a lot more penalties this year.

This beer poured with a ridiculously large, four finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of spiderweb lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose had grapefruit zest, grass and light pine. The taste was much more dank and piney than the nose. But, it tasted like old pine that quickly went into malty, caramel sweetness. The body was medium thick with light carbonation. It had a very sweet finish with bread and caramel malt. This was $2.49 for the single bottle ($.21 per ounce). This beer was drinkable, but it just tasted old and I wouldn’t be interested in having a second one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Heritage American Expedition

Tonight’s selection is from a brewery I have absolutely no experience with. After some research, I found that it’s about 2 years old and in Virginia and owned by veterans. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From sea to shining sea was once only a dream. This dream became a reality thanks to a band of 33 travelers who braved the western expanse of America. Lead by two of America’s greatest expeditionaries, they traveled over the mountains and valleys, through the plains and across the rivers, building friendships and narrowly escaping death from their enemies. Starvation nearly took them, but the steadfast devotion and help of a native woman brought them to eternal glory. Let us remember the Corps of Discovery with the American Expedition, a light bodied American wheat ale. Bathed in farmers honey and spiced with ginger, it will give any traveler the fortitude and perseverance to carry on.”

Random: I’m craving Thai food. There is a place by my house that is supposedly good, so maybe I will have to try it.

This beer poured with a thick, three finger, pure white head. It was very slow to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly hazy light yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose was light, but had ginger, wheat, honey and Meyer lemon notes. The taste had the same wheat and lemon zest. There was ginger as well, but it was very light. There was also a dash of white pepper. The body was thin with moderate carbonation. It had a quick, bright finish with wheat. This was $1.99 for the can, which came to $.17 per ounce. This was a really refreshing beer that would have made for a great summer drinker. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Spellbound Coffee Cacao Porter

This was the last beer that we had at the event. We didn’t stay there for a long time, but it was still really crowded around 5 PM, when I had this beer. The bar underneath where I put it was covered in water. I didn’t realize this when I stuck my arm in it and ended up with a wet fleece. This is the first time I’ve seen this beer from them and given the rainy weather out, I was in the mood for a porter.


ABV: 6.9%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: This is a different take on their normal porter.

Random: I could go for a cup of coffee right.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the plastic cup (I’m not sure if that’s because it was in a plastic cup or because it just didn’t leave lacing). The body was black with no visible carbonation. The nose was intense with strong, black coffee, almost like an espresso. It also had dark, baker’s chocolate and some roasted malts. The taste was not quite as good as the nose. It had dark, roasted malts up front and transitioned into black coffee, but less intense coffee than the nose. I would say it was like a black cup of convenience store coffee. The dark chocolate was there as well, but it hit at the end of sip. It had a medium thick body with more than enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with the same coffee note. This beer was good and I didn’t have a problem drinking it, I just wish it tasted like I thought it would based on the nose.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Spellbound Belgian Tripel With Cherries

This was the beer that Val got at the Spellbound event. We managed to find a place in the brewery where we could put our cups on pallets holding kegs while we hung out. It was also much less crowded and drier in there. Let’s see what I thought of this beer.


ABV: 8.7%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dark golden in color. We add cherries to the fermentation on our tripel. Aromas of cherry and fruity esters from the yeast. Finishes with a hint of honey sweetness and lingering cherry.”

Random: This is a seasonal from Spellbound and available October through November.

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the plastic cup. The body was a warm, orange color with light carbonation visible. The nose had notes of cherry, yeast and very light spice to it. Some golden fruit came through too, specifically peach. The taste, on first sip, didn’t strike me as the normal tripel. First of all, the taste was very light for the style. I picked up notes of cherry, apricot and peach. Golden raisins came through after a few sips, too. Very subtle yeast was present as well. There wasn’t much spice either. The body was overly thin with moderate carbonation. One of the good things about the beer was that the alcohol was well-integrated. The finish was quick with the same fruit notes that I picked up before. I really wanted to like this beer, but it was a flat-out miss for me. It was too light for a tripel and just needed more depth.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Spellbound Buffalo Trace What Were We Thinking?

The other half and I went to the Spellbound 1 year anniversary a few months back. Since I had to work in the morning, we got there about 4 PM after a lot of the beers had been tapped and kicked. It was rainy, but they had a tent in the back with music (which was insanely loud) and each table had a different beer. Instead of cash, you bought tokens at the front for a beer, which was a good way to do things as it was pretty quick to get a beer. This was the first one I had there.


ABV: 10%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Spellbound is 3 passionate beer geek homebrewers that decided it was time to take our recipes to the big leagues.”

Random: This was the beer they brewed for their 1 year anniversary and there was no information online about it.

This beer poured with a very small, white head that dissipated quickly. It left some lacing on the plastic cup. The body was a hazy mahogany color with no visible carbonation because of the darkness of the body. The nose was fragrant with bourbon, vanilla, booze and some molasses as well. The taste was equally strong. There were the expected characteristics from the bourbon-barrel aging: vanilla, molasses and oak. Some smoke came with it as well. The booze was present and warmed the back of the throat, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Sweetness, in the form of toffee and caramel were there, but it wasn’t cloying and helped to balance out the other flavors. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with ash, bourbon and vanilla. This was a really enjoyable beer and one I could see sipping by the fire or enjoying with a nice cigar. It’s definitely worth a shot if you can get your hands on it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0